January 15, 2013
Flu Epidemic Worsens
Fraser Health issues special decree on nursing homes
Released by FH Authority
Health's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder has
declared the current level of influenza (flu) virus circulating
within Fraser Health communities a health hazard under the
provisions of the Public Health Act, allowing for additional
measures to be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of our
most vulnerable community members.
Nineteen Fraser Health
residential (long-term) care facilities have reported influenza
outbreaks already this year, with significant consequences for
residents. This is more than twice as many outbreaks as were
reported each of the past two years. In addition, influenza-related
visits to Fraser Health emergency departments are at the highest
level seen in years
Effective immediately, all people attending a residential care or
assisted living facility who have not received a flu shot this year,
including staff, volunteers and visitors, will be required to wear a
mask and practice stringent hand hygiene during their time at the
Fraser Health is reminding visitors to avoid going to residential
care and assisted living facilities if they are feeling unwell.
"We are asking our patients, visitors and staff to take these extra
steps to protect their family members, patients, residents and loved
ones from this highly contagious and serious virus," said Dr. Van
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• This flu season, we have already seen twice as many influenza
outbreaks as the whole of each of the last three years.
• This flu season, we have already seen more than four times
the number of flu-related hospitalizations from long-term care
facilities than we do in a typical flu season.
• We have already seen more than three times the number of
deaths associated with influenza among residents of residential care
facilities than for the last three years combined.
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice